Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Caitlin Johnstone


Twenty-One Thoughts On The Persecution Of Julian Assange

1. I write a lot about the plight of Julian Assange for the same reason I write a lot about the Iraq invasion: his persecution, when sincerely examined, exposes undeniable proof that we are ruled by a transnational power establishment which is immoral and dishonest to its core.

2. Assange started a leak outlet on the premise that corrupt and unaccountable power is a problem in our world, and that the problem can be fought with the light of truth. Corrupt and unaccountable power has responded by detaining, silencing and smearing him. The persecution of Assange has proved his thesis about the world absolutely correct.

3. Anyone who offends the US-centralized empire will find themselves subject to a trial by media, and the media are owned by the same plutocratic class which owns the empire. To believe what mass media news outlets tell you about those who stand up to imperial power is to ignore reality.

4. Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. If everyone can be paced into viewing him with hatred and revulsion, they’ll be far less likely to take WikiLeaks publications seriously, and they’ll be far more likely to consent to Assange’s silencing and imprisonment. Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you’re suspicious of him you won’t believe anything he’s saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it’s as good as putting a bullet in his head.

5. The fact that the mass media can keep saying day after day “Hey, you know that bloke at the embassy who shares embarrassing truths about very powerful people? He’s a stinky Nazi rapist Russian spy who mistreats his cat” without raising suspicion shows you how propagandized the public already is. A normal worldview unmolested by corrupt narrative control would see someone who circulates inconvenient facts about the powerful being called pretty much all the worst things in the world and know immediately that that person is being lied about by those in power.

6. Relentless smear campaigns against Assange have given the unelected power establishment the ability to publicly make an example of a journalist who published uncomfortable truths without provoking the wrath of the masses. It’s a town square flogging that the crowd has been manipulated into cheering for. Narrative control has enabled them to have their cake and eat it too: they get to act like medieval lords and inflict draconian punishment against a speaker of undeniable facts and leave his head on a spike in the town square as a warning to other would-be truth tellers, and have the public believe that such a bizarre violation of modern human rights is perfectly fine and acceptable.

7. There are people who worked really hard to get journalism degrees, toiled long hours to earn the esteemed privilege of appearing on the front pages of a major publication, only to find themselves writing articles with headlines like “Julian Assange is a stinky, stinky stink man.”

8. Ordinary citizens often find themselves eager to believe the smear campaigns against Assange because it is easier than believing that their government would participate in the deliberate silencing and imprisoning of a journalist for publishing facts.

9. And yes, Julian Assange is most certainly a journalist. Publishing important information about what’s going on in the world so the public can inform themselves is precisely the thing that journalism is. There is no conventional definition of journalism which differs from this. Anyone who says Assange is not a journalist is telling a lie that they may or may not actually believe in order to justify his persecution and their support for it.

10. Another reason people can find themselves eager to believe smears about Assange is that the raw facts revealed by WikiLeaks publications punch giant holes in the stories about the kind of world, nation and society that most people have been taught to believe they live in since school age. These kinds of beliefs are interwoven with people’s entire egoic structures, with their sense of self and who they are as a person, so narratives which threaten to tear them apart can feel the same as a personal attack. This is why you’ll hear ordinary citizens talking about Assange as though he attacked them personally; all he did was publish facts about the powerful, but since those facts conflict with tightly held identity constructs, the cognitive dissonance that was caused to them can be interpreted as feeling like he’d slapped them in the face.

11. We live in a reality where unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are scrutinized and criticized far, far less than a guy trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies.

12. Assange disrupts establishment narratives even in his persecution. Liberal establishment loyalists in America still haven’t found a rational answer to criticisms that in supporting Assange’s criminal prosecution they are supporting a Trump administration agenda. You now have the same people who’ve been screaming that Trump is Hitler and that he’s attacking the free press cheering for the possibility of that same administration imprisoning a journalist for publishing facts.

13. The precedent that would be set by the US prosecuting a foreign journalist for merely publishing factual information would constitute a greater leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia than the Patriot Act, for America and for the entire world.

14. The billionaire media has invalidated itself with its refusal to defend Assange. They know the precedent set by his prosecution for WikiLeaks publications would kill the ability of the press to hold power to account, but they don’t care because they know they never do that. For all their crying about Jamal Khashoggi and Jim Acosta’s hurt feelings, they do not actually care about journalism or “the free press” in any meaningful way.

15. Whenever I see a blue checkmark account on Twitter bashing Assange I mentally translate whatever they’re saying into “There is nothing I won’t do to advance my career in corporate media. If you’re in a position to promote me I will literally get down on my knees right this very second and let you do whatever you want to my body.”

16. I sometimes feel like I respect professional propagandists who smear Assange more than I respect ordinary citizens who go around smearing him for free. What do these people think they’ll get as a reward for their work as pro bono CIA propagandists? A gold star from Big Brother? They’re like slaves who beat and betray other slaves that fall out of line in order to win favor with the master, except they’re not even achieving that. The professional manipulators are at least cheering for their own class to continue to have its leadership’s interests advanced; ordinary people who do it are cheering for their own oppression.

17. Even lower in my view are the self-proclaimed leftists and anarchists who view themselves as oppositional to the establishment but still help advance this smear campaign. It is impossible to attack Assange without supporting the Orwellian empire which is persecuting him. I don’t care what mental gymnastics you’re doing to justify your pathetic cronyism; what you are doing benefits the most powerful and depraved people on this planet.

18. Anyone who participates in the ongoing smear campaign against Assange and Wikileaks is basically just saying “Extremely powerful people should be able to lie to us without any difficulty or opposition at all.”

19. Everyone should always be extremely suspicious of anyone who defends the powerful from the less powerful. It’s amazing that this isn’t more obvious to more people.

20. Contrary to the narratives promoted by establishment smear merchants, Julian Assange is not hiding from justice in the Ecuadorian embassy. He is hiding from injustice. Everyone who knows anything about the US government’s prosecution of leakers and whistleblowers knows he has no shot at a fair trial, and would face brutal mistreatment at the hands of the same regime which tortured Chelsea Manning.

21. The persecution of Assange is essentially a question that mankind is asking itself: do we want to

(A) continue down the path of omnicidal, ecocidal Orwellian dystopia, or do we want to

(B) pull up and away from that trajectory and shrug off the oppressive power establishment which is driving us toward either total extinction or total enslavement?

So far, A is the answer we’ve been giving ourselves to that question. But, as long as we switch before it’s too late, we can always change our answer.


‘The Intercept’ Tries To Conflate Opposition To US Syria Intervention With Neo-Nazism

Caitlin Johnstone

Just as the tide turns in Syria and even the most virulently US pro-establishment voices are forced to concede that the regime change they’ve been pushing for has failed, The Intercept has published a shockingly awful article titled “Why White Nationalists Love Bashar al-Assad”.

Nowhere in this insipid piece does the author once refer to any of the unforgivable evils that the west has inflicted upon Syria, its relentless anti-Assad propaganda campaign or its foundation role in fanning the flames of war and arming known terrorist factions against the Syrian government.

Instead, The Intercept’s newly-recruited Mariam Elba opts to refer to Syria’s only legitimate government as “the primary perpetrators of escalating Syria’s civil war”. The Intercept’s editors even initially allowed through the absurd and since-corrected claim that Assad is primarily responsible for “millions” of deaths, when even the most ridiculous establishment propagandists are aware that the total death toll in the Syrian conflict is around half a million.

Instead of even once acknowledging the role of US and NATO interventionism in perpetuating the Syrian conflict, Elba instead focuses exclusively on how evil the Assad “regime” is, on how much white nationalists “love” the Syrian leader, and on Assad’s arguably grossly mistranslated use of the single word “homogenized”.

The article is essentially one long Gish gallop of individually weak and mostly unrelated bits of information such as the fact that a white nationalist known as “Baked Alaska” was once seen wearing a pro-Assad t-shirt, the fact that an SS officer might possibly have advised Bashar’s father on torture tactics in the 1950s and allegedly died in Damascus, and the fact that part of a recent speech about the war given by Assad can possibly be translated as “We lost many of our youth and infrastructure, but we gained a healthier and more homogenous society.”

The latter claim is especially bizarre because Elba doesn’t even attempt to argue that Assad would have been using the term “homogenized” in the same way a white supremacist would use it, instead saying that Assad meant “a society free of any kind of political dissent” rather than an ethnically homogenous society.

Leaving aside the fact that Elba is making a completely baseless speculation about a nation that has been under attack from terrorist forces for many years, it is truly jaw-dropping that The Intercept would permit the publication of an article which makes such a lazy, loose association so pivotal to its argument.

The mental gymnastics necessary to carry one possible translation of a statement in Arabic all the way over to an association with the fringe American support for a white ethnostate while openly acknowledging that they aren’t even using the same idea is staggering.

Elba also makes use of arguments from The Daily Beast’s Alex Rowell, including a link to an article which contains such unsubstantiated establishment vitriol as “the Syrian regime plasters its führer’s face on every public square and building and murders civilians with poison gas”

and “Why do fascists like the Assad regime? The simplest answer is that the Assad regime is a fascist regime. The brownshirts know a brother-in-arms when they see one.”

The article attempts to spin the alt-right’s support for Assad as something that is happening in a vacuum, having nothing at all to do with US interventionism.

In reality, most white nationalists oppose the western interventionist agenda in Syria because of the “nationalist” part of their label, not the “white” part.

Civic nationalists feel the same about Syrian interventionism as ethno-nationalists do, because they place primacy of the nation-state above what the Infowars crowd views as a globalist agenda of world domination by the plutocratic owners of multinational corporations and banks.

Their philosophy necessarily means honoring Syria’s sovereignty as a nation-state, since they don’t view it as hostile to America’s sovereignty as a nation-state.

I’m writing against this article because I know its sentiment will be used as a weapon against people like me who speak out against western interventionism in Syria. The propaganda campaign against the Syrian government has failed, and it’s getting desperate, and now because of arguments like this which arise from that desperation it’s only a matter of time before people who contradict the establishment Syria narrative start getting shouted down as Nazi sympathizers.

What’s going on with The Intercept? Why is it suddenly hiring these blatantly pro-establishment war propagandists? Has it gone full WaPo now? This is coming just two weeks after it ran a piece full of smears on WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief Julian Assange, which up until today was the cherry on the top of an increasingly pro-establishment sundae.

Does this pivot have something to do with The Intercept’s founder, eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar? This wouldn’t be anything new for Omidyar, who is already working toward developing artificial intelligence software to serve as an arbiter of truth in news media, and who reportedly had some extremely shady involvement with the 2014 coup in Ukraine (which was ironically spearheaded by neo-fascists).

In 2013 another extremely powerful billionaire, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, purchased the Washington Post for $250 million. He didn’t do this because his acute business sense told him that newspapers were about to make a lucrative resurgence, he did it because he knew that the power establishment he was building his empire upon requires a robust propaganda mouthpiece to maintain and advance. Is Omidyar doing the same? Sure as hell looks like it.




June 2023

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